Tag Archives: Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore has always been regarded as the quintessential British eccentric. Often portrayed as a stereotypical boffin, perhaps reinforced by his monocle, he was the face of The Sky at Night. In recent years, other astronomers like Chris Lintott have been used to fill in those parts that would have been occupied by Moore, who was beginning to look less capable. Moore also appeared as himself in a number of programmes from Morecambe & Wise Christmas specials to GamesMaster on Channel 4.

But not many people know about Moore’s political activities and some choose to see past them.  Nostalgic for the Empire, he was chairman of the anti-immigration United Country Party (UCP) in the late 1970s. The party had close ties to The Freedom Association (he was a friend of the McWhirter brothers) and other right-wing pressure groups. The UCP could be seen, in some respects, as the forerunner of UKIP, which Moore later joined. The UCP was absorbed into Dennis Delderfield’s racist New Britain Party in 1980. Some former members of New Britain joined UKIP.

Nowhere Towers will not be mourning the passing of Patrick Moore. For us, he was not some charming old star-gazing duffer who played a xylophone but a nasty old reactionary who held far-right views.

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Filed under 20th century, History, History & Memory, Media, Political parties, Television, UKIP

Hannan: McWhirter was a decent man (because I say so)

He who has the biggest wallet can afford free speech. Conversely, he who has the biggest wallet can silence those whose speech appears to cause them offence. The slight may be imagined. Indeed the slight may be exaggerated in order to hijack or control discourse. I expect some of the offended parties to talk about filing a lawsuit in the coming weeks.

And so it is with those right-wingers who have recently been offended by David Baddiel’s remarks about Norris McWhirter. Desperate Dan whines and moans that the BBC didn’t sack Baddiel for daring to compare The Freedom Association to the BNP. He says,

Still, can you imagine BBC comedians making equivalent remarks about a Left-of-Centre campaigner: Helena Kennedy, say, or Shami Chakrabati? Silly question, really.

He doesn’t ask the important question: why? Instead he sounds like a 6 year old child who’s just been told that he can’t watch cartoons because he has to do his homework. Life’s so tough. The thing is, neither of the people he mentions are anywhere near as vile or racist as McWhirter whose TFA was more than happy to support apartheid-era South Africa as well as Rhodesia. In fact, Kennedy and Chakrabarti have done more for ordinary people in this country than the McWhirter brothers ever managed in a lifetime.

A fundamentally decent man, a man who had served his country in the war against Nazism and had been awarded the CBE, was traduced on air, linked to Mosley and compared to the BNP.

“Fundamentally decent”?  Why? Because you say so? Don’t make me laugh.

His comment to one of his fans is quite amusing too,

The whole premise of the film is facile. The young David Baddiel goes to a talk at his public school (usual Leftie angst about public school, I was on a special scheme for the poor etc) expecting Norris to talk about the Guinness Book of Records. Instead Norris talks about politics and – angels and ministers of grace defend us – the man is RIGHT-WING.

Here is a dilemma for the teenage David. Someone he had admired turns out to disagree with him. But rather than consider why this admirable person might think differently, rather than allow the possibility that there might be two sides to an argument, he recoils in horror. Instead of thinking “If an impressive man like Norris is conservative, maybe there are some good conservatives”, he says “If an impressive man like Norris is a conservative, he can’t be as impressive as I had thought”.

As I’ve blogged before, what is striking about this attitude, which has become the default assumption among many on the Left, is not its narrow-mindedness or its stupidity, but it’s sheer narcissism. It redefines evil as “someone who disagrees WITH ME!”

So where did Baddiel describe anyone as “evil”? This trope that Hannan regurgitates is worth looking at closer. Here Hannan assumes that “many of the Left”  think that anyone who has a different point of view is ‘evil’.  It is so simplistic and barely takes a nano-second of thought. He has so far failed to provide any salient examples for his bizarre contention. We could read this comment in the same way as those comments and articles that are produced by the American right on the ‘left’: they are entirely constructed from tropes and myths. The left is “dangerous” or the left is “narrow-minded” (Dan evidently overlooks the narrow mindedness among his fellow Tories). The most popular trope is “liberal elites”, which always seems to trip off the tongue of an elitist. What Danny Boy seems to be missing is the fact that McWhirter’s appearance at Baddiel’s school confused him. McWhirter on Record Breakers was clearly a different person (almost avuncular) to the one that ran TFA. Of course, I knew the first time that I saw the McWhirter brothers there was something deeply disturbing about them. Patrick Moore too.

I’m not a fan of Baddiel. He was a part of that BritCom, BritPop, BritArt crap that was the zeitgeist of the mid-1990s. Strictly speaking, his remarks should be viewed within the context of the programme on which he appeared. Besides, Jeremy Clarkson gets away with a hell of a lot more.

If McWhirter had visited my school, I would have doubtless reached the same conclusion as Baddiel.

UPDATE:  6/3/11 @ 2342

Added additional paragraph about Baddiel and BritCom etc.

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Filed under Ideologies, Ideologies, Media, Society & culture

UKIP (again)

UKIP will always deny that they have racists among their membership. Their reply might go along the lines of “I have some Asian friends” or “I like a good curry” or “Rusty Lee is a member of UKIP”. With regards to the latter, Lee is UKIP’s token gesture to inclusivity; she is a fig leaf to deflect attention away from their bitterly racist and xenophobic membership.

One of their MEPs, Mike Nattrass was once a member of Dennis Delderfield’s New Britain Party along withJeffrey Titford and 2 others.

In a letter this month to his supporters, Holmes, a retired newspaper publisher, said four of the party’s current senior officers had once been members of Delderfield’s New Britain, which advocated repatriation of immigrants. The four are the party’s new leader, MEP Jeffrey Titford, chairman Michael Natrass, party secretary Bryan Smalley, and Derek Bennett, on the National Executive.

No racists, huh? What do you think we are here at Nowhere Towers? Fools?

The NBP,now simply called New Britain, was smaller than the National Front and was no less racist. Its policy of forced repatriation was shared with both the Conservative Monday Club and the NF. One little known fact is the NBP absorbed the anti-immigration, United Country Party in the early 1980’s. The United Country Party boasted Sir Patrick Moore as their chairman. These days, Moore is seen as an eccentric old duffer who doesn’t seem to have a past but in the 1970’s, he was one of many voices who shared the view of Enoch Powell that Britain had become ‘swamped’ with dark-skinned immigrants.

The Daily Telegraph seems to be in two minds about UKIP. On the one hand Dan Hannan defends them and speaks warmly about Malcolm Pearson’s resignation as party leader and on the other hand, they are described as ‘eccentric’ and ‘barmy’. This is from Cristina Odone from April of this year,

The launch of the UKIP manifesto was somewhere between the student union and the saloon bar. An air of jocular unreality hangs about UKIP – you can tell from the way the political hacks pitched their questions this morning that they can’t take the party too seriously. And you can see why: Lord Pearson, the party leader, blasted the EU as a “dangerous and misguided project” but then acknowledged that Britain should follow the example of France and Belgium (last time I looked, both were in the EU) when it came to banning the Burka from public buildings.

The title of the blog is quite interesting too, “UKIP are lucky that no one takes them seriously”. She adds,

The problem with the joshing is that it lets off this party from serious scrutiny just as Lord Pearson is happy to let off Paul Wiffen despite his recent tirade against Muslims, Africans and Romanian gypsies.

Paul Wiffen, you may recall, was suspended as UKIP’s candidate after making a racist tirade. He was later reinstated. Let’s remind ourselves what Wiffen actually said,

“You Left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under medieval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish.”

As I reported on this blog in August, Hannan heaped praise on Pearson calling him a “brilliant businessman” and adding “His wealth was his own, honestly acquired (though he has given much of it away to various campaigns and charities), and his title was a working peerage, one of Margaret Thatcher’s last appointments”. Guess which charities he’s given money to?

Last year, Damian Thompson told us that in Pearson, UKIP had acquired a “formidable leader”. I hope Mr Thompson isn’t considering a side line as a sooth-sayer.

A look at UKIP’s website reveals this tendency to  eccentricity. On this page it reveals what it describes as “threats” to “Britishness”. Though they don’t elucidate what ‘Britishness’ actually means beyond an irrational hatred of foreigners,

The British cultural/Marxist left has spent decades undermining British values and institutions. It has cast even the most sober and understated expressions of pride in nationhood as ‘racist’ and casts Britain as a historical villain guilty of slavery, colonialism and various other real and imagined wrongs. The current British establishment ironically is anti-British in important respects. This world view often relies on large grants to its ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ quangos and strategic positions in the media, education and the legal system. The cultural left has also supported multiculturalism and supranationalism, both of which undermine a unified sense of being ‘British’. UKIP opposes multiculturalism and political correctness and promotes uniculturalism, a single British culture embracing all races, religions and colours.

Should we tell them that culture is not homogeneous and that it cannot be imposed from above by off-the-wall political parties who welcome racists? But what is this “British cultural/Marxist left”?  Well, the term “cultural Marxism” was coined by the paranoid conspiracy theorist and raving anti-Semite, William S. Lind. The trouble is, it is only they and the rabid Right of the Tory Party that support this view; they are the ones most likely to complain that the BBC is ‘biased’ against them.

Skipping past the stuff about culture, sports and Islamicisation (sic), my eyes lighted on this,

UKIP would celebrate the “Last Night of the Proms” as an example of good humoured British pride, which the politically correct left deride. UKIP would formally strike out the unhelpful verse starting with “rebellious Scots to crush” from the national anthem. UKIP would require the UK theme medley to be restored to BBC Radio 4.

Oh, that’s nice of UKIP: make the Scots feel better by striking out the offending line about Marshal Wade…but take away their parliament,

UKIP would replace members of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies with national Westminster MPs.

As Odone said, it’s a good thing no one takes UKIP seriously. But what is “good humoured British pride”? Does that mean having the freedom to tell racist jokes and then complain that those who are offended by such ‘jokes” are ‘politically correct’ and have ‘no sense of humour’? UKIP is a party with one foot in the 1970’s and one planted in the here and now. The Britain that they talk about is one that no longer exists. They want to take us all back to a time when Blacks, Asians and women knew their place and didn’t complain.

Finally 9 September on UKIPwatch this appeared,

Yet another renegade UKIP MEP in trouble over expenses!

With their track record as the only political party to have had two of of the people they sent to parliament actually sent to jail for financial impropriety, one would have thought they would have taken a little more care in selecting candidates at the last European elections, especially as it was in the middle of the Westminster expenses scandal when they were claiming to be more virtuous than the other parties!

That’s right, 2 UKIP MEPs were imprisoned for fraud and money laundering. So who was it this time? Not another MEP but one of UKIP’s officials,

A whistleblower has come forward to allege that Nikki Sinclaire, 42, a former UKIP leadership candidate, regularly claimed nearly £840 for driving the 1,200 miles from her home in Birmingham to the parliament in Strasbourg.

UKIP like to tell us that they are a serious party and that they are against expenses fiddling. But UKIP speaks with forked tongue. On the one hand they want to appear as a credible anti-EU party and on the other hand, they are taking money from the Euro Parliament by deception.

UKIP is a party of racists and xenophobes and no amount of window dressing will convince the country otherwise.

A full list of leadership candidates can be seen here on Left Foot Forward

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